Madagascar’s new whale shark hotspot
Whale shark swimming in the ocean

May 17, 2018


The Madagascar Whale Shark Project (MWSP) Foundation is a collaborative research and conservation project for whale sharks. To date, the project has identified more than 366 individual whale sharks, published the first study on whale shark movements in Madagascar, implemented a code of conduct and initiated an education programme.

The challenge

The charity conducted a study – published in the journal Endangered Species Research – that identified Madagascar as a feeding hotspot for juvenile whale sharks. 85 individual sharks were identified in a single season using photographs of their distinctive spot patterns. These new findings about this globally endangered species were particularly exciting because of their potential to support Madagascar’s developing marine ecotourism industry. With no comms professionals on the team, they needed help spreading the word and getting this study on the global news agenda.

The strategy

  • Compiled a tailored, targeted press list
  • Drafted and distributed a hard-hitting press release based on the most media-worthy results of the study

The results

  • 73 pieces of coverage secured
  • Highlights included: BBC News, BBC World Service Radio, MSN, Lonely Planet, Mongabay and Diver magazine

Melissa was a Pro Bono Communications Consultant for MMF during 2018. The study was part of a collaboration between researchers from MWSP, Marine Megafauna Foundation, Florida International University and Mada Megafauna.

Case studies

Read about the campaigns Melissa has worked on to help for-purpose organisations meet their PR & communications goals.

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